This is what diversity looks like

30 11 2011

Diversity of opinion, that is

In case you can’t tell from the picture, the flyers from tomorrow’s event, “The Morality of Capitalism: Where Occupy Wall Street Went Wrong,” are coexisting peacefully with flyers for a Michael Moore campus visit.

It might not be the kind of diversity that makes for feel-good promotional photo ops, but campus does harbor a dizzying number of student groups representing nearly every interest, activity, and political persuasion under the sun.

Often, the hard part is connecting students with the organization they didn’t know they were looking for. Flyering may or may not help–but it is a sort of ritual that every group feels the need to take part in.

As an aside, note that the presentation hosted by the greedy, selfish capitalist College Libertarians is free (and all attendees receive a free book), while the event featuring a faux-populist hero and darling of the progressive movement is charging ten dollars for tickets. Draw from that whatever conclusions you’d like.




A nice little reality check

30 11 2011

For a city that has become a sort of Mecca for post-industrial ruin pornographers, Detroit has weathered its storms fairly well. I mean, it’s still there. That’s a pretty remarkable accomplishment.

But the doom and gloom seems especially heavy these days. Of course, the city’s rapidly approaching day of financial reckoning isn’t helping–Detroit is just about out of money and has little hope of maintaining its financial obligations, public services, or rampant corruption as cash dwindles.

Detroit’s uncertain future presents a tremendous opportunity for reinvention, but only if we learn from the mistakes that laid the mighty Motor City low. Over at the Michigan View, contributor Dan Calabrese has posted a piece that does just that. It doesn’t propose any concrete, actionable solutions, but it does reflect on the city’s origin, its purpose–something politicians don’t like to talk about.

The Guardian Building: the "Cathedral of Finance"

An excerpt: Read the rest of this entry »

Music to Occupy by

29 11 2011

Need a stocking stuffer for that anti-consumerist Occupier in your life? Your gift buying task may have just gotten a bit easier: according to the Wall Street Journal, Occupy Wall Street is planning…a benefit album.

From the article:

Occupy Wall Street has a benefit album planned with Jackson Browne, Third Eye Blind, Crosby & Nash, Devo, Lucinda Williams and even some of those drummers who kept an incessant beat at Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park.

Participants in the protest movement said Wednesday that “Occupy This Album,” which will be available sometime this winter, will also feature DJ Logic, Ladytron, Warren Haynes, Toots and the Maytals, Mike Limbaud, Aeroplane Pageant, Yo La Tengo and others.

But wait! There’s…erm, Moore.

Activist filmmaker Michael Moore is also planning to sing.

Occupying your iPod...right after he occupies a vocal trainer, I hope

That’s right, Michigan’s own faux-populist is ready to fire up the masses with his literally gilded pipes. Who, exactly, asked for this? What were they thinking? Read the rest of this entry »

Only in Ann Arbor

20 11 2011

Having lived in Ann Arbor for a few years, it takes a lot to shock me – everything, from the city’s inane protests to its insane regulations has largely lost its capacity to surprise. Still, sometimes the most insignificant things are the ones that leave me shaking my head in amazement.

Case in point: a Subaru with an Obama bumper sticker.


There’s nothing unusual about a Subaru doubling as a rolling billboard for progressive causes. Except that the deep blue Forester I saw while running errands last week was new. Just-off-the-lot, spec sheet-in-the-window new. It didn’t yet have a permanent license plate – but it did have a fresh “Obama 2012” sticker on the bumper. Read the rest of this entry »

Onward, anti-obesity soldiers

15 11 2011

Whether you agree with a particular cause or not, never stop fighting for individual rights – sooner or later, they’ll pass a law against something you enjoy.

I’m sure you’ve heard something to that effect before. Pro-liberty types can, at times, sound like broken records. Sometimes, we even champion causes that most would rather ignore: violent video games, stupid protests, pornography, smokers’ rights…the list goes on.

If our warnings seemed overheated, or our causes asinine, it was only out of concern for the future. We realized that eventually, the regulators would run out of “sensible” things to regulate and switch to all-out nannyism. Crushing cigarettes wouldn’t satiate their desire for control for long – it would only be a matter of time before they moved on…to food.

My belly, my choice

In case you’re one of the few remaining skeptics that believe the busybodies haven’t leveled their sights on our burgers, try to read this piece of Time Magazine commentary by apparent control freak Shannon Brownlee. Be careful, though: it might make your blood pressure rise faster than a high sodium diet. Read the rest of this entry »

The debate that didn’t inspire

11 11 2011

I’ll admit that it’s easy to be cynical about politics when you’re in your early twenties and think you know everything. Still, Thursday’s debate did nothing to inspire any faith in the GOP lineup–and it certainly didn’t win Republicans many college-age converts.

I watched the debate with the UM College Libertarians, which undoubtedly explains some of the built-in skepticism towards socially conservative candidates such as Rick Santorum. But our crowd also included a handful of Republicans and an Obama supporter or two for good measure. The audience might not have been a demographically accurate slice of campus, but it was composed of the economically literate, politically concerned students that the GOP desperately needs to fire up entering the 2012 election season.

A winning lineup?

Few were impressed by Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, which seems to be the cornerstone of his campaign. His frontrunner status will open 9-9-9 up to increased and well-deserved scrutiny. We’ll see if the plan- and his candidacy- can survive the criticism despite the present pro-Cain surge. Read the rest of this entry »

Two years late, $3 billion short

8 11 2011

This just in: Cash for Clunkers may not have been an efficient use of tax dollars or an effective attempt at stimulus.

Though the futility of the 2009 automobile exchange program was apparent from the start to members of the right-minded alternative media, it’s taken mainstream journalists a bit longer to catch on. Hence this piece, which recently appeared in the Washington Post Blog.

While the $3 billion program was undeniably popular, I suspect that even those who traded in their older vehicles for a $3,500 voucher for a newer, more fuel efficient ride at least implicitly understood it as a cash grab rather than a real attempt at stimulus – especially since, as the WaPo piece states, at least “45 percent of cash-for-clunker vouchers went to consumers who would have bought new cars anyway.”

For publicity-driven politicos, a quick but artificial spike in auto sales was great news, even if it couldn’t last. Sure enough, like an alcoholic coming off a bender, vehicle sales crashed after the program expired. This chart (found at HotAir) says it all:

Correlation doesn't always equal causation, but sometimes...

Read the rest of this entry »